Friday Finish | Bear Paw Socks

Welcome to December! This week, month, year… it has all flown by. We’ll blink and it will be 2023 — how is that possible?! I mentioned it on Wednesday, but it’s been such a cloudy and gray week around here and it’s been perfect for enjoying my newest pair of socks! I’ve barely gone a day without wearing these lovelies since binding off and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Andrea Mowry released a DK version of her Everyday Socks a couple of weeks ago alongside The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers newest yarn, Bear Paw. She announced that she would have a knitalong over the Thanksgiving weekend and I splurged on the yarn on a total whim. I love Andrea’s Everyday Sock pattern and have made so many pairs over the last couple of years and thought a DK version would be fast and fun. I wasn’t expecting to actually take part in the knitalong nor finish the pair over the holiday weekend. That would have been an “unrealistic expectation” for me and I’m watching out for those lately.

The Bear Paw yarn arrived the week before Thanksgiving and friends: wow. If you can swing it, I highly recommend putting this on your Christmas list. It is 70% SW Merino, 20% Yak, and 10% Nylon — and one of the most lovely sock yarns I’ve ever used. I’m not sure if I’ve ever worked with a yarn with yak? That might be what’s making the difference here. Bear Paw comes in both DK and fingering weights – so you could choose to knit this pattern by holding two strands of fingering weight together (which is what I did) or by using the DK yarn. I chose Sunstone and Chinook Winds as my colorways. (And of course, you can use any brand of yarn you’d like or have on hand!)

A couple of days after it arrived, I decided to wind the yarn. And then I decided to get it a basket of its own, get the needles ready, and print out the pattern. Because I never really know where my fancies will take me and I wanted to be ready for every possibility. But I still wasn’t even sure if I’d cast on or even be in the mood for knitting given how busy the week was.

The knitalong was scheduled to start after 5pm on Wednesday, the evening before Thanksgiving. I was in a pretty good place with my preparations that evening and thought, what the heck? I might as well cast on. Especially since I’d gotten everything ready the week before (smart move, Katie). So I got going and didn’t stop until I turned my first heel that evening. This pattern moves so fast! I realized that if I could knit half a sock a day then I could easily finish the pair before the knit along was scheduled to end the following Monday. And that’s exactly what I did! The first sock was finished late on Thursday night and the pair was completely finished by Saturday night. How amazing is that? I don’t even have any progress shots, just the final picture I took to post in the knitalong thread on Ravelry.

leftover yarn

I did a lot of knitting in fits and starts while cooking and cleaning for Thanksgiving, standing up in the kitchen and just doing a row or two at a time. It was such a fun project to pick up while waiting on a dish to finish or while taking cleaning breaks. But most of the knitting was done in the evening while watching the latest season of The Crown, so I will forever think of these as my Crown Socks.

I made a minor modification by decreasing 8 stitches after turning the heel because I have scrawny ankles and calves (my body isn’t scrawny anywhere else!). I tried on the first pair about an inch after the heel and realized that they were going to be baggy, so then I started the decrease. I decreased those stitches immediately after the heel on the second sock, so they don’t exactly match and that’s perfectly okay with me.

I have quite a bit of the yarn left and could probably make another pair, especially if I slightly shortened the leg. I typically knit 7″ for the leg but that is probably not necessary. I’m also considering using the yarn Sarah sent me along with the gray for another pair. I wanted to use that yarn for colorwork in a sweater but I’m not sure how soon I’ll be able to start another sweater and socks are so much more manageable for me!

Finishing these socks reminded me how much I love having a pair on the needles at all times. Socks are so easy to pick up/put down and can really fly off the needle without too much thought. I’m all about slow projects but sometimes I want to feel like I’m actually accomplishing something. Socks can help me scratch that itch while other projects take shape in the background.

It’s forecasted to be a cold and rainy weekend around here, so I’m not sure how we’ll stay busy over the next couple of days. I’m planning to be back on Monday with a summary of my reading in November, which I’m excited to work on over the next couple of mornings. I hope your weekend is full of exactly what you need. Until Monday – take good care!


16 thoughts on “Friday Finish | Bear Paw Socks

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  1. Your socks are lovely! I can’t believe how fast you knitted them! I’m so glad you found the time here and there to make them. I’m looking forward to seeing more sock happen this winter.


  2. I joined the Sock Squad from FDF this year and knit with the Bear Paw a few times. It used to be a Sock Squad exclusive and knitters were so excited to see it would be more widely available. The Yak is amazing. Just one thing, because of the Yak, you do need to hand wash your socks – not a big deal for me but I saw more than a few posts from people who had ruined their socks by machine washing – ugh! So fun to have new woolly socks as the weather turns to winter.


    1. Thanks for the warning! I don’t like throwing any of my handknits into the washing machine, so I think I’ll be pretty safe. Are you doing Sock Squad again in 2023?? It seems like so much fun!


  3. Those look so squishy and warm! I keep seeing DK-weight socks and thinking about how fast they’d be to knit and how cozy they’d be to wear, but I just haven’t gotten around to knitting any yet. They probably would be fun to do as scrappy socks using up fingering leftovers — if I had much in the way of leftovers yet! One of these days I’ll knit some.


  4. What a great job on the socks. I have long admired yarn from The Farmer’s Daughters Fiber. Someday I’ll get around to trying it. You are tempting me although I recently decided I should really knit down my sock yarn stash.


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